SELLING hair for profit:
Every day at the Tirumala Venkateswara Temple in India, about 10,000 people sit cross-legged on the floor of the tonsuring room and let one of the 500 temple barbers shave off their hair. For many Hindu pilgrims, the shave is an intensely moving experience, as they believe that by sacrificing their hair here they will gain Lord Venkateswara’s protection and be cleansed of material debts.
Once the hair hits the floor, however, it enters the world of business. The strands are collected by attendants, packed into large steel bins, washed, and sorted according to length and quality. Twice a year, the stored hair is auctioned off and exported, mainly to the USA, UK and China, where it is used to make hair extensions and wigs. Long, untreated Indian hair is in high demand; the temple’s longest hair sells for RS20,000 (US$375) a kilogram.
Last year, amid concerns that buyers were forming a cartel, conspiring to keep bids low, the temple stopped its open auctioning process and began to sell online instead, through secret tenders. So far, it’s proving extremely lucrative; in 2011, the temple sold 561 tonnes of hair for RS2 billion ($36.9 million).
LONDON Fashion Week 2013: we’ve been photographing the fashionistas seen outside Somerset House. Look out for: 1980s colours; the BA Robertson fan club; men dressed as clerics; men dressed as furtive sex shop browsers (circa. 1973); and other cool kids…
IT’S been announced that Michael Dell is going to buy back his company and take it private. The buyout price is $13.65 a share for a total just north of $24 billion. The big questions is: why?
Clearly, the obvious answer is that they think the company is worth more than the stock market thinks the company is worth. That’s why you buy things: because other people value them at a lower price than you do. But why do they think this?
TESTING the condom ice-cream in Japan:
IS the bottom about to fall out of the dildo industry? The Dildomaker turns any object you can fit inside into a dildo. Francesco Morackini’s turning tool is showcased with carrots, tree branched, cheese (you see, it is normal; it’s not just you) and a candle.
DEEP Inside: A Study of 1000 Porn Stars And Their Careers is the work of Jon Millward, author of such texts as Dirty Words: A Probing Analysis of 5000 Call Girl Reviews and Cupid on Trial: A 4-month Online Dating Experiment Using 10 Fictional Singletons.
He looked at the data to find the typical US adult film star. They are a 5-feet 5-inch tall, brown-haired white woman, born in California. She has a 34b chest, no tattoos, begins her career at age 22, lasts three years in the industry and is called Nikki.
CONCLUSION the typical porn star looks like the typical female.
AUGUST, 1970 - A Smuggler’s Guide to Importing Pot from Mexico, as featured in Scanlan’s Magazine.
CATHY Ward, 51, Cathy Ward, has scene and quotes from the Twilight books and films on her skin. In the right light, you can role her around in bed and read her. Her lovers’ are never without literary stimulation. Of her ink of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner, Ward says:
“I’m still continuing with them. We’ve got plans and designs for my legs next year – the aim is to cover my whole body.”
CATHI Schutzler, owner of Diamond Lil’s Saloon, operates cassette film for dancer Kim Thompson, 24. On screen, dancer strips nude: On stage, the dancer does the same routine at the same time live, but strips only as far as a skimpy bikini-type outfit. Miss Schutzler says she believes this does not violate Tampa’s law banning nude dancing in bars on April 22, 1978, where alcohol is sold.
ICE Cubes. On Food.com, there’s a recipe on how to make them.
CHRISSYG assures food fans that the cubes are “Very low carbs Lactose Free”.
FINDING Solitary Movement in a Busy Crowd (Animated Gifs) is the work of Nicolas Ritterone.
“One focuses on the individual in a crowd. It particularly imitates the way in which the human eye observes: not viewing a crowd as a crowd, but observing little micro-scenes inside of it.”
THE horse meat story has resulted in arrests. Peter Boddy, 63, of Peter Boddy Slaughterhouse in Todmorden, West Yorkshire, has been arrested on suspicion of fraud. The man whose factory takes in horses fatally injured at Aintree racecourse – venue of the Grand National – is accused by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) of providing horse meat for British kebabs and burgers.
A racecourse spokesman has gone on the record:
“We are as confident as we possibly can be that no unfit meat ever reaches human food.”
So. Not confident at all, then.
1948: THE horse meat scandal. Meat on the hoof. Black market “veal”! Eight of every ten horses head to the slaughterhouses! “This sordid trade is on the increase..!” “Shire horses are being wiped out..!”
ONE day John Galliano will make Hassidic Jews on-trend. The convicted anti-semite who declared his love for all things Hitler (it’s zer shorts – to die fur) was spotted heading to Oscar de la Renta’s show at New York Fashion Week yesterday.
The New York Post was disgusted. “SHMUCK,” it screamed. How very dare he mock Hasidic Jews. Galliano was dressed in a long dark coat and a grey homburg hat. His hair was twirled.
Young Hassidic Jews sigh with joy. “Finally, already,” they say in one voice. “Finally, the satin and velvet coat, the furry hat and tucking the trousers into the long black socks is fashionable. After 150 years, finally this look is hip again.”
ALL gone tits-up?
Forty-two is no age at all for a model these days, but life could be ending rather than beginning at 40 for Britain’s most famous glamour modeling institution. Rupert Murdoch, responding to a tweet this week suggesting that the Sun’s Page 3 is “so last century”, replied: “You may be right, don’t know but considering.”
BAD Ad Watch: The Sydney Morning Herald is far-out and makes you want to leap off buildings:
GIVEN that marijuana is now legal to smoke in some US states. And given that it never did you elite any harm. And given the fact that your lover smokes weed, whether for medicinal purposes or not. These marijuana-themed St Valentine’s Day gifts might be suitable.
WHO buys those luxury goods in China. No, not the knock off tut. The real deals. Osnos at the New Yorker spots a link:
[T]he luxury watch business enjoyed a banner year in 2011, growing forty per cent. But then China’s anti-corruption campaign began, and by September, Bo Xilai was in handcuffs, and watch exports to China suffered a devastating blow—down 27.5 per cent compared to a year earlier, according to the Federation of the Swiss Watch Industry. ChinaDaily quoted an industry consultant saying the anti-corruption drive “hurts the luxury watch business a lot.”
It’s not just watches. In 2009, the industry experts estimated that gifts to government officials made up nearly fifty per cent of all of China’s luxury sales.
HOW did horse meat end up in our discount murder burgers? Sarah Montague told BBC radio listeners:
“The Swedish firm Findus employs a French company, Comigel, to make its ready meals. It gets meat for its factory in Luxembourg from another French company, Spanghero. And it in turn employs an agent in Cyprus, who uses an agent in the Netherlands, to source meat from an abattoir in Romania.”
So. This is where all the agents from the Cold War ended up. They work in the shadowy world of international meat processing.
Tesco has been putting horsemeat in its Everyday Value Spaghetti Bolognese ready meals. It’s not the cheap business it sounds. Verity’s pony that “fell ill” when she went to Uni was not collected by the Tesco delivery truck. A lot of thought and cooperation when into that Triggerburger.
Tesco is richer than it’s meat dishes.
This is the company that makes its meat producers jump through hoops to get product into its stores yet buys foreign horses. The companies words on “Beef Standards” are boastful:
All the beef farmers supplying our approved abattoirs meet national farm assurance standards and belong to our suppliers’ Producer Clubs. We source cattle from all over the UK and Ireland.
That’s got more bull than a Romanian or Polish beef abattoir, which, of course, might have none.
All our standard cattle are sourced direct from farm assured farms which are independently audited. These farmers are committed to the highest standards of quality, animal husbandry and animal welfare.
That bollocks is still up on the Tesco website.
Every piece of beef sold in our stores can be traced back to the group of farms where it was reared and the cattle are always purchased direct from farm and never through livestock markets.
Value beef is taken from slightly older animals than those we use for standard beef but otherwise the standards are the same.
Finest beef is selected from prime cuts, and then matured to optimize flavour and tenderness.
And horse. It’s sometimes taken from horses – maybe.
Our Organic beef comes from farms which are audited by one of the organic farm bodies, such as Soil Association or Organic Farmers and Growers. Organic beef farmers only feed organic cereals and manage their pasture land without using artificial fertilisers and pesticides.
Sure about that?
Tesco bought something called “beef filler”. That’s stuff used to bulk up meat using offcuts from the remnants of cattle carcasses. You might know it as “pink slime”. USA Today told us:
Filler is made from fatty bits of leftover meat that are heated, spun to remove the fat, compressed into blocks and exposed to ammonia to kill bacteria. Producers often mix the filler into fattier meat to produce an overall leaner product and reduce their costs.
It’s cheap. That keeps costs down. That makes the beef cheaper than UK supplier’s can produce.
Tesco has a “real food” policy.
We know how important animal welfare is to our customers and that’s why we have a dedicated agriculture team at Tesco, who are responsible for writing and implementing our strict Livestock Codes of Practice. These codes cover all aspects of farming from the breeding farms to the finishing farms, and ensure good environmental practice as well as welfare and food safety.
We also work with independent experts, such as vets, to ensure we keep improving things. And to make sure our suppliers always follow these codes, we have an independent auditing company carry out 100s of unannounced checks on our farms and factories each year. These standards are applied wherever we source from, regardless of country of origin
Our agriculture team also spend time working with the farmers that supply us to improve standards and communication throughout the supply chain, as well as developing new products and systems.
Those British farmers don’t stand a chance.
Karen Tait speaks for many:
I contacted the local Tesco store in Kirkwall, Orkney last week to express my concern that there was no Scottish lamb on the shelves, only lamb from New Zealand. Given that Scottish sheep farmers are struggling to make a living and this store is based in the heart of a beef and lamb producing community, I found this outrageous. The majority of the shoppers i…n this store will be directly or indirectly involved in farming and you are relying on their support by receiving their custom, but you are not supporting them in return. The local manager listened to my concerns and stated that he could do more to promote Scottish lamb in future. He explained that the Kirkwall store does stock a number of locally produced goods (a fact I was already aware of as I prefer to purchase them) and that he wished to increase the range. He also explained the very strict criteria each producer must comply with before their product gets to the shelf. I am a farmer so am familiar with such inspections as we have to meet a number of standards and have to pass strict checks on our own farm in order to sell livestock into the food chain. I am therefore horrified that horse meat has been found in your burgers, and given the strict criteria you have in place and our national cattle traceability system, cannot believe you were not aware of this?The local store is managed and run by a group of staff that you should be very proud of but I am unlikely to be a regular customer there anymore as I don’t wish to support your lack of regard or respect for honest food production within Scotland and the UK.
So. Tesco. Still sticking to that trusty policy..?
NATASHA Harris, 30, has died after consuming up to 2.2 gallons of Coca Cola a day. Every day. Ms Harris, 30, of Invercargill in New Zealand’s South Island, died February 2010. The coroner, Mr David Crerar, that the “extreme” amounts of Coke played a role in the cardiac arrhythmia that finally killed her.
He calculated that drinking 10 litres delivered 970mg of caffeine, and more than 1kg of sugar a day:
“I find that when all the available evidence is considered, were it not for the consumption of very large quantities of Coke by Natasha Harris, it is unlikely that she would have died when she died and how she died.”
YOU’RE a grown woman. An adult. What you need from your man is a huge teddy bear for St Valentine’s Day. If he gets you a tricycle, worry. A pair of Disney pull-ups, wonder. A cot, a rattle and asks you to look really innocent… Call the police!
Vermont Teddy Bears say their Big Hunka Love Bear is what men need to get that special lady into bed. The bear is a four and a half foot high aphrodisiac. Why not buy one and attach some balloons.
Toddlers Grown women love balloons and stuffed animals